Teaching your children about the Elections Okay, lets face it, the last 4 years have been extremely political on everything from human rights to masks, even more so than prior years. Everyone has their views siding typically with the two main parties, Democrats and Republicans, however there are more than just two parties when it comes to running for government positions. I am going to try to make this as unbiased as possible. You as a reader will have your views, which I understand and respect, will teach your children your values. I mean we all do it. But for the purpose of this lesson, I want to Omit actual candidates names when talking about it at first. Testing the knowledge and how the child (specifically mine) feels and understands on all sides. I know my own son knows how our family feels about each candidate but we haven’t discussed in major depth what each one stands for on specific topics. So before we watch the Presidential debate tomorrow night, I want to go through this. This will need to be a multi part article with explaining the different political parties, the different branches in government and more so I will link those once written. If you would like to be notified please subscribe for more information. History and Importance of Voting The first presidential election was held on the first Wednesday of January in 1789. No one contested the election of George Washington, but he remained reluctant to run until the last minute, in part because he believed seeking the office would be dishonorable. Only when Alexander Hamilton and others convinced him that it would be dishonorable to refuse did he agree to run. Before the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment, there was no separate ballot for president and vice president. Each elector cast two votes for president. The candidate with the largest number of electoral votes won the presidency, and the runner-up became vice president. Why Vote Because the Constitution did not specifically say who could vote, this question was largely left to the states into the 1800s. In most cases, landowning white men were eligible to vote, while white women, black people, and other disadvantaged groups of the time were excluded from voting (known as disenfranchisement). While no longer explicitly excluded, voter suppression is a problem in many parts of the country, as some politicians try to win reelection by limiting the number of specific populations of voters, such as African Americans. It was not until the 15th Amendment was passed in 1869 that black men were allowed to vote. But even so, many would-be voters faced artificial hurdles like poll taxes, literacy tests, and other measures meant to discourage them from exercising their voting right. This would continue until the 24thAmendment in 1964, which eliminated the poll tax, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which ended Jim Crow laws. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920, when the long efforts of the women’s suffrage movement resulted in the 19th Amendment. Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district or county, your vote undoubtedly matters when it comes to electoral results. Most states have a “winner take all” system where the popular vote winner gets the state’s electoral votes. There are also local and state elections to consider. While presidential or other national elections usually get a significant voter turnout, local elections are typically decided by a much smaller group of voters. How the Presidential Election works: The election of the president and the vice president of the United Statesis an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty U.S. states or in Washington, D.C., cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the Electoral College. These electors then cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, and for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes (at least 270 out of 538, since the Twenty-Third Amendment granted voting rights to citizens of D.C.) is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the most qualifying candidate for the presidency; if no one receives an absolute majority of the votes for vice president, then the Senate elects the vice president. The votes cast during an election for a candidate or about an issue. Whichever candidate or decision about an issue gets the most votes has won the popular vote. (U.S. president and vice president are determined by an Electoral College vote.) A Candidate must be: been born in the USbe at least 35 years oldhave lived in the US for at least 14 years Candidates Responses Coronavirus Candidate 1: Opposes a national requirement on mask wearing and will leave it up to local and state government Wants to provide Free Coronavirus testing but leaves it up to the state governments on their plan Supports a virus supports opening schools amid the pandemic but will withhold from areas who will not Would Withdraw from the World Health Organization Candidate 2: Would mandate masks for public areas and events Supports nationwide testing and contract tracing, would double down on the effort and would provide federal funding to help supports an accelerated vaccine that is safe supports reopening schools based on local conditions if it is safe. Asks Congress to help provide emergency funding to make it necessary, including proper protective equipment Would not withdraw from the World Health Organization and reverse the decision to do so Economy and Trade Candidate 1: Unclear on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour Supports a United States-Mexico-Canda Trade Supports Made in America, will sign that certain essential medicine and medical supplies will be manufactured domestically Does not support the federal reserve to operate independently of political pressure. Wants the federal reserve to lower interest rates Supports the up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for workers Wants to withdraw from the Trans- Pacific Partnership trade Supports Tarriffs on goods from China Does not support reparations to descendants of enslaved people Candidate 2: Supports raising the minimum wage and ending low wages for tipped workers and people with disabilities Supports a United States-Mexico-Canada trade but thinks the trade deal needs improvements Supports Made in America and proposes to penalize American companies for moving manufacturing and service jobs over sees when selling their products within the USA. Will ask for the federal government to spend $400 billion for the next 4 years on materials and services and more money on research and development for electric cars, AI and other technology Doesn’t think anyone, no matter their position, should be commenting about an institution that needs to be independent to fulfill its purpose Supports universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave Wants to renegade the Trans – Pacific Trade deal Wants to reevaluate Tariffs on goods from China Isn’t sure on supporting reparations to descendants of enslaved people and wants to study it better before deciding Taxes and Entitlements Candidate 1: Does not support extending $600 a month on federal unemployment insurance supplement but does agree to $300 only to those making more than $100 per week on unemployment by their state Unclear on cutting social security Supports the 201 GOP tax cut, gives major corporations tax cuts Does not support increasing capital gains taxes, thinking of cutting it Does not support increasing corporate tax rate and would lower it Supports opportunity zones, which create tax incentives to encourage investment in struggling communities Candiate 2: Unclear on his support of the extension of $600 per month federal unemployment insurance supplement. He says yes but not sure on the amount Does not support cutting Social Security but has suggested changes Does not support the 2017 GOP tax cut and would reverse the decision. Would make it so that anyone earning less that $400,000 would not get an tax increase Supports increasing capital gains taxes, infant wants to double the rate Supports increasing the Corporate Tax rates, and would increase it Would Reforms the opportunity zones, which create tax incentives to encourage investment in struggling communities Health Care Candidate 1: Does not Support Affordable Health Care Act, would offer a replacement Has made it unclear, he said he wants to protect people with pre existing conditions but hasn’t made it clear on how Does not support a public health insurance option for government financed care Does not support lowering the Medicare eligibility age Does not support the medicaid expansion Supports right-to-try legislation, which allows patients with life-threatening diseases or conditions to have access to experimental drugs or procedures Supports importing certain prescription drugs from Canada, where they are sold at a lower cost Does not support allowing undocumented immigrants to get insurance through Medicaid or other public insurance programs, wants to bloc them from becoming eligible tax payer funded welfare, healthcare and free college tuition Candidate 2: Supports the Affordable Health Care Act Supports requiring health insurance to cover preexisting conditions Support a public health insurance option for government financed care and would build on to it creating more options Supports lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 Supports the medicaid expansion Unclear on supporting right-to-try legislation, which allows patients with life-threatening diseases or conditions to have access to experimental drugs or procedures Supports importing certain prescription drugs from Canada, where they are sold at a lower cost Supports allowing undocumented immigrants to get insurance through Medicaid or other public insurance programs Criminal Justice Candidate 1: Does not support ‘defunding’ the police Does not support ending qualified immunity, which shields police from lawsuits Supports lowering mandatory minimum prison sentences Does not support federal legalization of recreational marijuana. will leave it up to the states Supports the death penalty Supports privatizing prisons Supports eliminating cash bail Candidate 2: Does not support ‘defunding’ the police, wants to add $300 million a year on community policing initiatives and reforms Wants to reform ending qualified immunity, which shields police from lawsuits Would eliminate lowering mandatory minimum prison sentences Does not support federal legalization of recreational marijuana but would decriminalize it Does not support the death penalty Does not support privatizing prisons and encourages the federal usage of them Does not support eliminating cash bail Voting and Government Candidate 1: Supports quickly filling the Supreme Court vacancy following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death Does not support adding more seats to the Supreme Court Supports vote-by-mail but only under some circumstances Supports voter ID laws, which require voters to show identification at the polls Does not support restoring voting rights for people convicted of felonies who have completed their sentences Does not support statehood for Washington, D.C Does not support statehood for Puerto Rico Unclear on supporting the elimination of the Senate filibuster Supports congressional term limits Does not support eliminating the electoral college Candidate 2: Does not support quickly filling the Supreme Court vacancy following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death Does not support adding more seats to the Supreme Court Supports vote-by-mail Does not support voter ID laws, which require voters to show identification at the polls Supports restoring voting rights for people convicted of felonies who have completed their sentences Supports statehood for Washington, D.C Supports statehood for Puerto Rico but thinks Puerto Ricans should decide Supports eliminating the Senate filibuster but only as a last resort Does not support congressional term limits Does not support eliminating the electoral college Foreign Policy Candidate 1: Somewhat supports committing to NATO Supports withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban Supports the Israel-United Arab Emirates peace deal Supports moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Does not support Iran nuclear deal Does not acknowledges that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign Does not support ending assistance for the Saudi-led war in Yemen Supports direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, without prior concessions Supports current restrictions on U.S.-Cuba relations Supports the creation of Space Force Supports increasing the Defense Department budget from current levels Candidate 2: Supports committing to NATO Supports withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban Supports the Israel-United Arab Emirates peace deal Thinks its complicated to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Supports Iran nuclear deal but only if Iran returned to compliance Acknowledges that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign Supports ending assistance for the Saudi-led war in Yemen Does not support direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, without prior concessions Does not support current restrictions on U.S.-Cuba relations Unclear on supporting the creation of Space Force Does not support increasing the Defense Department budget from current levels Climate and Environment Candidate 1: Does not believe climate change is real and recent warming is largely driven by human activity Does not support an active role for the federal government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will withdraw us from the Paris Climate Accord Does not support rejoining the Paris agreement Does not support banning fracking Supports fossil fuel extraction in public water and on public land, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Does not support banning fossil fuel exports Supports Keystone XL pipeline Supports nuclear power Candidate 2: Believes climate change is real and recent warming is largely driven by human activity Supports an active role for the federal government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and introduced the Green New Deal Supports rejoining the Paris agreement and will encourage countries to increase their commitment Does not support banning fracking but would end new drilling on public land Does not support fossil fuel extraction in public water and on public land, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Unclear on his support banning fossil fuel exports Does not support Keystone XL pipeline Open to supporting nuclear power Immigration Candidate 1: Supports ‘zero tolerance’ policy that led to family separations at the border Supports building additional wall on the U.S.-Mexico border Does not support a moratorium on deportations Supports banning sanctuary cities Supports the United States accepting fewer than 50,000 refugees per year Supports increasing the number of high-skilled immigrants but not during the pandemic Candidate 2: Does not support ‘zero tolerance’ policy that led to family separations at the border Does not support building additional wall on the U.S.-Mexico border Supports a moratorium on deportations Does not support banning sanctuary cities Does not support the United States accepting fewer than 50,000 refugees per year Supports increasing the number of high-skilled immigrants but after reform Abortion Candidate 1: Supports nominating antiabortion justices to the Supreme Court Does not support additional abortion restrictions Supports that there should there be restrictions on late-term abortions Candidate 2: Does not support nominating antiabortion justices to the Supreme Court Does not support additional abortion restrictions Supports public funding for abortions Supports that there should there be restrictions on late-term abortions Education Candidate 1: Does not support making public colleges tuition-free Does not support universal prekindergarten Supports federal funding to send students to private schools Does not support banning charter schools Supports cross-examination of accusers of sexual assault at colleges and universities Candidate 2: Supports making public colleges tuition-free but only for families making less that $125,000 Supports universal prekindergarten Does not support federal funding to send students to private schools Supports banning charter schools but only the for – profit charters Does not suppors cross-examination of accusers of sexual assault at colleges and universities Gun Control Candidate 1: Does not support a federal assault weapons ban Does not support a widespread, mandatory program for confiscating guns Does not support requirement for gun owners to register their firearms Unclear on his supporting of requiring background checks on every gun purchase Supports banning rapid-fire rifle attachments known as bump stocks Candidate 2: Supports a federal assault weapons ban Does not support a widespread, mandatory program for confiscating guns. Does support state level red flag laws and a voluntary buy back program on assault weapons and high capacity magazines Supports requirement for gun owners to register their firearms but only for assault weapons Supports requiring background checks on every gun purchase Supports banning rapid-fire rifle attachments known as bump stocks LGBTQ Rights Candidate 1: Has given many mixed messages on his supporting of same-sex marriage Supports ban on transgender people in the military Does not supporting extending federal anti-discrimination protections to gay and transgender people Candidate 2: Supports same-sex marriage Does not support the ban on transgender people in the military Supports extending federal anti-discrimination protections to gay and transgender people So revealing which candidates are which, Candidate 1 is Donald Trump and Candidate 2 is Joe Biden.